Blog of Justin Cheuk, home to writing on London, Hong Kong, Studying Abroad, Trains and Travels.

你懂用Self Check-Out嗎?

Justin Cheuk: When HK Meets UK

星期三的留學系列再度回歸!在寒冷的冬天,思緒總是不能離開「食」這個字。但是,在暴飲暴食的情況下,總要到超市去補充的。今天便說說一些關於英國超市的事。

http://lancastria.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/uk_supermarkets_lancastria.gif
 (英國最大的幾間超市都在此了)

跟香港和世界大部分的城市一樣,英國的超市市場同樣也是大公司間的競爭。不同的是,比起香港兩大超市的壟斷,英國的市場最少擁有更多競爭的公司。對於普通人來說,去超市還是會選擇最方便最就腳的一間吧。

距離我校最近的是全英最大的TESCO。可是那間店子實在跟我一般想像中的「超市」形象格格不入:說穿了,店鋪面積很小,稱作便利店會更適合。英國確實沒有像是7﹣11般只經營便利店的連鎖,只有獨立的雜貨店(一般稱作Corner Shop,因多建在街角)和超市的縮水版。這些店子雖小卻五臟俱全。不論是肉類,蔬菜還是零食等的食品應有盡有。

可是,便利店般的店鋪總不可能把所有種類的貨品都塞進去。有時候想找些較專門的東西,例如是某個品牌的罐頭,那就需要到更大型的超市去。我校附近有一間在市內來說異常巨大的Sainsbury’s,是在美國電影的市郊場面會見到的,從一邊盡頭看不見另一邊盡頭的那種超市。我是來了幾年以後,某次要替人買生日蛋榚時才首次造訪。那時候,我還真比店鋪的大小嚇了一跳呢。據聞超市以往是能坐萬人的球場,後來球隊陷入財政危機,於是逼不得已把球場的地賣給超市公司。我是坐巴士去這間超市的。事實上,該路線可就是專為方便人買東西而設的,巴士的路線牌上甚至寫上了Sainsbury的字樣。不知這樣算不算「官商勾結」呢?

接下來說說付款的程序。也許看到這裡,你會覺得我是個白痴。在超市買東西不就是排隊過機付款嗎?我不是說笑。如果你用的是普通的人手Check-Out,那當然不用教。可是,英國我超市多數都有所謂的自助Check-Out,而要搞清楚它們的運作方法似乎比上登天更難。至少,在你趕時間的時候,前面的那位仁兄/小姐總是個不懂操作的人。這等連數碼港也沒有的科技也許真是太高深了。

這是部自稱可以用所有方法付款,而使購物更快捷的機器。不過,很多時候它只會令你看起來像是個很蠢的人。要用這部機,首先要把購買的東西都掃瞄進機器內。不過,沒標記的東西(例如上圖的水果),你只可在電腦內找想要的東西,再填上重量等,機器才會放行。可是量重量卻是機器常出錯的位置,有時候即便什麼也沒做,機器同樣會大叫「Need Assistence!」,好像這裡是戰場一樣...

另一個經常出問題的地方是購物袋。在英國,法律上購物袋是不用征稅的。不過,一些超市的購物袋還是要付費,錢會捐到和環保有關的慈善機構。所以,我有自備購物袋的集慣。可是,要在自助機器上用它是件苦差。如果你沒把它準確地放到上圖Bagging Area (放袋區?)內的話,機器又會嘈音大作要求支援。這時看到一面走過來一面搖頭的超市員工,就會覺得自己很白痴。

和香港一樣,這邊的超市同樣經常標示減價優惠以吸引顧客。不過,英國的廣告要比香港直接得多。有時候打開電視,會看到ASDA的廣告。一個個普通的棒形圖,說的是:本星期,我們有600件貨品比TESCO便宜!450件比Morrisons便宜...

事實上,英國的超市以西歐的生活水平來說確是十分便宜。一支兩公升的汽水,公價是1英鎊。更何況,還有專以平價來招徠的超市,例如我經常去的ICELAND。(和冰島沒有關係!有次有人問我食物從何來,我回答ICEAND,他還真以為是北歐島國)那是一個只賣冰鮮食品的超市,可是價格卻低得驚人:例如有一英鎊一人份的微波爐晚餐,二英鎊一整盒漢堡等等,都是我這種「飢不擇食」的人的福音呢。我甚至還有ICELAND 的積分卡...

上週留學指南:LET IT SNOW!

7 Responses to “你懂用Self Check-Out嗎?

  • YEA~~~ I feel sick with the self check-out machine.
    Still remember the when time when i used it, it kept on asking me to put the item into the bagging area. I really don’t understand why they need to weight the things we have brought in the bagging area which makes the whole thing that complicated.
    BTW, I guess I know which Sainsbury’s you are referring to. Is it the one which is near to 四和行?

  • EJ,
    This really explains why I actively dislike using these machines. And as you say the bagging area is probably the worst of all…
    I think you mean the New Cross Gate Sainsbury’s? No that’s not the one I go to regularly. I usually go to the one in East Dulwich.

    PS. Thank you very much for regularly visiting and commenting on my blog! Please like the facebook fan page if you haven’t already done so!

  • Hi justin
    Nice to meet you. Don’t know if you will see this comment on an old post 😉
    I discovered that you are also from Hong Kong and had journey in London.
    Sad that I found this site when it comes to the end of my trip.
    Thank you for all your postings. Your experience of learning spanish and requiring assistance in asda self -check- out are so similar with me. Your posts remind me a lot and also give me idea where to go when I wanna go out to London by myself!
    Should be exam-seasons in UK? Add oil then!

    • Hi Sarah,

      Welcome to my blog! I get so few comments in here so any of them are much appreciated!!

      Thank you very much for following what I have written here, I am really glad that there are actually someone reading them. I guess UK experiences are actually quite similar to all of us and then, especially the ‘bagging area’ one! ^^

      The end of your trip? Do you mean that you are returning to HK?

      Also, please continue to support here, and /or like the facebook page on the top right-hand corner of my blog!

    • I have already subscribed to this page! Will go to London soon so thank you for your tips in saving money! How long have you been staying in London? yeah..I am leaving soon. Will miss UK very much altho. it’s a bit boring

    • Sarah,
      I have been here for a (whopping) seven years now and I think I like most things here, probably staying for the future as well.

      I am glad that my posts are useful!

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